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Courtney Rashon Discusses New Book 'Giving Face: The Art To Looking Flawless for Every Occasion'

VIBE caught up with Rashon to get the exclusive on what’s going on in her world and the impending release of her new book.

A triple threat as a writer, television host and entrepreneur, Courtney Rashon is kind of a big deal. A former writing contributor at Labels Magazine, she’s currently a contributor to Shive Magazine where she focuses on trends, shares beauty tips and gives her two cents about hip-hop culture.

In addition to being an editorial contributor to their online site, Rashon is also a television correspondent on "What’s The 411" program that appears on cable TV in New York City.

Her new book, "GIVING FACE: The Art To Looking Flawless for Every Occasion" that drops Wednesday (June 1), covers a wide range of topics and gives detailed instruction on makeup applications and techniques that apply to every occasion in someone’s life. Available as an E-book and via print at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble stores, Rashon discusses makeup tips and tricks as well as things that are considered tacky. “The book is fun, humorous and informative,” Rashon told VIBE via phone. “It isn’t your typical makeup book. I speak to the reader as if I am he or she’s personal beauty expert and friend. It can also purchased on my my website at www.courtneyrashon.com as well.”

VIBE caught up with Rashon to get the exclusive on what’s going on in her world and the impending release of her new book.

VIBE: Why should people go out and buy it?
Courtney Rashon: This book is for everyone! I have chapters in the book that apply to everyday life scenarios involving makeup, cosmetics, grooming, and beauty over all. There is even a chapter titled “HIM” for the guys. Overall, the information in the book will help and guide you when you’re uncertain about beauty looks and what is and what isn’t appropriate for every occasion.

Where did you draw your experiences from to write the book?
Rashon: My experiences came from my own real life situations involving beauty and other people who I know that have had beauty horror stories or needed advice on technique, application and makeup looks. As a beauty expert, it was important to share my beauty advice and knowledge with the world.

Coming from a successful background and specifically being the sister of a successful producer in Timbaland, what did you learn along the way?
Rashon: I learned that anything in life is attainable if you have passion, persistence and patience. Hard work and loving what you do is a beautiful and dynamic combination. It makes it all worth it! Networking and utilizing your resources is key. Being prepared is a must!

What makeup tips can you give ladies for the summer?
Rashon: Heavy contouring is out! It’s all about strobing! Red lips, bronze skin, blue and peach hues on eyes and false lashes are the hottest looks right now.

You're on television, you run a makeup line and you're an author, how do you manage to juggle all of the hats you wear?
Rashon: I try to make sure that I dedicate enough time to each one. #prettygirlgangcosmetics™ is my baby. Since the line is six months old, it’s still in the infant stages so that takes up most of my time. What’s the 411 is taped once a week and we have scheduled meetings, conference calls and deadlines so I know what to expect. My book will be the most challenging of the three because of tours and appearances. Managing everything can be hard and it has moments where I become overwhelmed and exhausted but I love it at the end of the day. I created a blog called LUXE & LIFESTYLE which will be featured on my website courtneyrashon.com. The content will mostly be excerpts from chapters in my book. For the first series of entries, I will be traveling around the world visiting spas, discussing and experiencing beauty treatments and doing tutorials. It's cool because the viewers will get to see everything live so it’s like you’re actually there with me.

Make sure to visit courtneyrashon.com for more info on Courtney Rashon.

Brandon Robinson is a sports and entertainment writer and TV personality. Follow him, his #WORDSWITHSCOOP and #SCOOPBRADIO movement on Twitter @SCOOPB and visit www.SCOOPB.com.

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These pillars and many more have allowed the next generation of emcees to be unapologetically brash, truthful and confident in their music. Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy and Nicki Minaj's Queen might've been the most mainstream albums by womxn in rap this year, but there was a long list of creatives who brought the noise like Rico Nasty, Tierra Whack, Noname and Bbymutha. Blame laziness or the heavy onslaught of music hitting streaming sites this year, but many of the artists on this list have hibernated under the radar for far too long.

VIBE decided to switch things up but also highlighting rap albums by womxn who came strong in their respectively debut albums, mixtapes, EPs. We also had to give props to those who dropped standout singles, leaving us wanting more.

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10 Most Important Hip-Hop Artists Of 2018

We’ve reached another end to an eventful year in hip-hop. From rap beefs to new music releases and milestones, 2018 has been forged in the history books as a year to remember. But more important than the events that happened over the span of 12 months are the people who made them happen.

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After learning The Alphabet Song as a little girl, Kiana Lede would always “get in trouble” for singing during class. “My mom was like, ‘why can't you focus?’” she laughs while reminiscing on her career’s formative years. “I was like, ‘I don’t know! Songs are just playing in my head all the time!’”

Whilst sitting in a shoebox-sized room at Midtown Manhattan’s Moxy Hotel on a humid September day, the now- 21-year-old Arizona-bred R&B songbird, actress and pianist speculates that she “may have had ADD.” However, she settles down after taking off her white cowboy boots and flops down on the ivory-clothed bed, demonstrating that her fiery Aries energy can be contained. Cool as a cucumber, Lede shuffles between chewing on banana candies and blowing smoke rings after taking drags from a pen, all while musing about her journey to becoming a Republic Records signee.

“I just grew up singing and doing musical theater, and reading a lot of books, and playing piano way too much in my room by myself,” she says, pushing her big, curly brown hair out of her face. Her expressive green eyes widen as she grins. “It was my thing. Nobody in my family does music, just me.”

After winning Kidz Bop’s 2011 KIDZ Star USA talent contest at 14 (which her mother secretly entered her into), Lede was signed to RCA Records. She was released from her contract and dropped from the label three years later. However, thanks to guidance and friendship from the Grammy-winning production duo Rice N’ Peas, (who’ve worked with G-Eazy, Trevor Jackson, and Bazzi), she released covers of songs such as Drake’s “Hotline Bling” while working to get her groove back. The latter rendition resulted in Republic Record’s Chairman and CEO Monte Lipman flying her out and signing her to his label.

“I got a second chance, which a lot of people don't get,” she reveals. “So I'm really happy that that all happened. I wouldn't be here right now in this room if that didn't happen.”

Thanks to the new opportunity she was given, Lede’s sound has evolved into something she’s proud of—equal parts soul, R&B and bohemian. As evidenced by the aforementioned ensemble, glimmers of each aesthetic can be found when observing her personal style as well. She released her seven-song EP Selfless in July, which features the bedroom-ready “Show Love” and “Fairplay,” which manages to fit in the mainstream R&B vein while also showcasing her goosebump-inducing vocals. The remix of the latter features MC A$AP Ferg. What pleases her most is that it not only garnered a favorable response from fans, but that those listeners found it so relatable.

“As an artist, it's really nerve-wracking for someone who writes about such personal things all the time,” she says. “Just the fact that it is my story… It's good to know that other people know that there's somebody on their side, and they're not the only ones going through it. A lot of people obviously feel this way, and have been through this same thing that I've been through. So I think that's cool.”

Although she moved to various places as a Navy serviceman’s daughter, Lede claims Phoenix as home. This means she hails from the same stomping grounds as rockers Alice Cooper, Stevie Nicks and the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. However, growing up in a mixed race household gave way to tons of sonic exploration outside of the rock-heavy scene.

“My dad's black, and both of my parents are from the East Coast,” she says of her musical and ethnic upbringing (she’s black, Latina and Native American). “[My parents] listened to a lot of R&B. My mom listened to a lot of SWV, TLC, Boyz II Men. I didn't realize I knew the songs until I got older. I played a charity show with T-Boz, and I was like 'why do I know these songs?'” Lede also says her father was a fan of neo-soul and gangsta rap, but she personally believes the early-2000s was the best time for music.

“[That era] influences a lot of my music subconsciously, and also, singer-songwriter stuff,” she continues. “I listen to a lot of early-2000s music because I played piano most of my life. I listened to Sara Bareilles, John Mayer.”

An open book, Lede details some of her struggles with anxiety and depression with the utmost candor. After being dropped from RCA, her trust in people diminished, and she experienced long bouts of depression after being sexually assaulted by someone in the industry. The track that she feels most deeply about is “One Of Them Days,” which tackles these issues head-on.

“When I'm anxious and depressed, it's really hard to be happy,” Lede says. “Most of the time, I can do it, but there are just some days where I literally can't separate the anxiety, and I can't tell anybody why, because I don't really know why myself… I was feeling very odd that day, didn't even know if I could write a song. Hue [Strother], the guy who I wrote the song with, he was like 'I totally get you. Lots of people go through this.’’’

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“My passion is really people. Music is just a way that I can get to helping people,” she says with a grin. “Helping people emotionally and physically are both very important. I never want to stop helping people. I feel if other people can respect me, and I can respect myself, then I'll be happy. Happiness is all that we strive for.”

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As for the future of her career, she’s looking forward to more acting roles. You may recognize her from the first season of MTV’s Scream, and after her recent Netflix series All About The Washingtons with legendary MC Rev Run was cancelled, she has been “reading for auditions” and is “negotiating” for a role in a film set to shoot in NYC. While her time with the Run-DMC frontman was brief, she says he taught her about the importance of “not compromising your art for money.”

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“I want to be able to look back on my career and think 'man, I really poured my heart into this music, and made music that mattered, and made music that made people feel a certain way, whether it's bad, good, sad, anxious, whatever it may be.’”

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